Lobsters, lighthouses, and more lobsters. What else does someone need to have a perfect, scenic summer day? Portland, Maine (not to be confused with its hippy cousin on the west coast) boasts beautiful views, delicious eats, and a peaceful New England vibe. Don’t get too relaxed, though: Today is going to be all about the sights, sips, and yes—shellfish.
Rise and shine with an appetite. Marcy’s Diner comes with huge portions at a small price right in the heart of downtown Portland. Grab the quiche, grilled (!) blueberry muffin, or sweet peach cobbler pancakes to fuel up for the day. Just make sure to bring some bills—they’re cash only.
Walk off the delicious, carb-heavy heaven with a one mile walk to Portland Observatory, which offers scenic views of the harbor, and is famous for being the only historic maritime tower left in the United States. The best part? Admission is only $5 bucks—not too shabby for a beloved, historic landmark.
Now it’s time to get even closer to the sights. From the observatory, walk less than a mile to the Eastern Promenade, a favorite spot for locals. The promenade has a two mile trail to run, walk, or bike—so definitely order those peach cobbler pancakes—along with baseball fields, basketball courts, and tennis courts with a view.
Hopefully by now the stomach’s a’ rumbling again. Susan’s Fish n Chips is a place where no tourists will be found; it’s near a cluster of repair shops and gas stations, but don’t be fooled! Inside of this converted car shop are incredible lobster rolls that rival any other in town. (Instagram that lobster roll, too!) To get there, hop on a 20 minute, $1.50 bus.
On the way back to downtown Portland (getting back on the same bus) make sure to stop along the line at The Great Lost Bear. This food and drink establishment has 78 beers on tap, over 50 craft beers, and 25 Maine microbreweries. Have a beer or two to prep for the best next-stop we’ve seen: the International Cryptozoology Museum. Here, the only cryptozoology museum in the world has exhibits of The Lochness Monster, Big Foot, mermaids, and more. Admission is just $7, a price pretty hard to beat considering go’ers get to see yeti hair samples and a Lake Monster. A must-do is taking a photo with a favorite exhibition piece— make sure to tag #hipmunk or tweet @thehipmunk to make us proud.
As evening rolls in, it’s time to enjoy a nice, New England meal. The Westin Portland Harborview houses Portland’s only rooftop bar at its restaurant, top of the east. Soak in stellar views of the city and harbor, and enjoy a nice cocktail while watching the sun set.
Before the night ends, there’s still time to enjoy a little live music. The Casco bay ferry typically provides rides for Portlanites to the islands of Casco Bay, but it also offers eclectic, music cruises featuring local bands who perform all summer long. Check the schedule ahead of time and set sail to end a perfect day in one of the most vibrant little cities in the U.S.